Last month, we learned that Chromebook shipments grew over 4 times in the midst of the pandemic and shifted to distance learning. This demand in 2020 has led to Chrome OS surpassing macOS in worldwide sales.
According to IDC 2020 figures (via GeekWire) for desktops, laptops and workstations, Chrome OS surpassed macOS worldwide sales. Google’s operating system bypassed (as has happened in the past) Apple in the second quarter of 10% to 7.6%. However, Chrome OS continued to grow over the next two quarters – 11.5% for the 3rd quarter and 14.4% for the 4th quarter – to maintain the second.
The Mac started at 5.8% in the first quarter, peaking at 8.4% in the third quarter before returning to 7.7% in the last three months. Meanwhile, Windows sales fell from 87.5% at the beginning of the year to 76.7% in the fourth quarter.
The recent demand for affordable computers, especially in education, is benefiting Chromebooks. Back at the September event, Apple said the new iPad Air was six times faster than the best-selling Chromebook. The comparison of mobile / tablet to desktop operating system is a bit strange, even before you consider how an iPad setup requires the purchase of an additional keyboard accessory. Regardless of the iPad or Mac, Apple still has a price premium in a period where people are looking for the cheapest option.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is well aware of the Chrome OS threat and is preparing Windows 10X. A leaked version of the upcoming operating system last month revealed a design, user experience and approach that is very similar to Google’s operating system. The operating system, originally for dual-monitor devices before a talking pivot, is expected to launch in the spring and target education as well as business customers.
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